Happy February and happy Black History Month! What comics are you reading lately? This month’s picks are packed with variety from supernatural thriller to cute romance — with fake dating! — to kid-friendly mysteries. In celebration of Black History Month, several Black creators on Webtoon recently collaborated to create a list of Black creators on Webtoon and a list of comics on Webtoon with Black leads; see both lists here.
— loudlysilent ♡ (@loudlysilent) February 17, 2020
Let us know on Twitter what comics you currently recommend!
Emily Lauer: This month I read the adorable kids’ graphic novel InvestiGATORS, by John Patrick Green! The first in a proposed series from First Second, InvestiGATORS tells the zany and wholesome story of two alligators in high-tech spyware vests who … investigate mysteries. In this first installment their pun-laden case is the disappearance of a world famous baker, and the possibly linked explosion at a nearby scientific facility. There’s also a brain surgeon who was bitten by a rabid helicopter, turning him into a were-helicopter known as Doctor Copter. The book reminds me of Richard Scarry’s Great Pie Robbery mysteries, and would probably be appropriate as a read-aloud for a similar age, perhaps 4 or 5 year olds. Due to the engaging wordplay and many interlinking plots, however, I think InvestiGATORS would also be really fun for a beginning reader to read on their own. I look forward to more in this series!
This week is #BookExpo and I'll be signing galleys of my new book InvestiGators from @01FirstSecond on Friday! Here's a comic featuring the stars of the book, MANGO & BRASH, with all the details. pic.twitter.com/OBdoljBGZZ
— John Patrick Green (@johngreenart) May 28, 2019
Paulina Przystupa: I just started reading Revolutionary Girl Utena. I had seen the manga series a bunch growing up but for some reason never picked it up. However, I found the first volume on a clearance rack and, after browsing the first few pages, knew it had to come home with me. So now I have the first five volumes sitting on my shelf and I can’t wait to make my way through them.
Wendy Browne: I have stumbled into a Webtoon rabbit hole. After obeying my daughters’ demands to read Lore Olympus and following along with Claire Napier’s “Insta Made Me Read It” series, I’m hooked on the app as a whole and keep getting sucked in with new titles. I’ve jumped in early on some new series, including Yuna & Kawachan by Lauren Schmidt and Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer and Alai Cinereo. The former is a post apocalyptic story where a young girl teams up with a person in a mascot outfit to survive the demons that roam the city. I am intrigued by the nature of the tragedy that has struck, and about how the pair managed to find each other and come to share a bond, especially when Kawachan’s PTSD keeps them silent and masked.
Meanwhile in Not Even Bones, a cruel “zannie” hunter forces her daughter to help capture and dismember supernatural humans for money. When Nita, a zannie herself, defies her, she discovers how far her mother will go to punish her. The art in this thriller series is stunning, with beautiful lettering carefully layered atop it. As interested as I am with the story, I find myself often scrolling back to admire the imagery and the way the artist blends scenes together through their transitions.
— Rebecca Schaeffer News and Updates (@rrschaeffer) October 25, 2019
Melissa Brinks: After what feels like eons, I finally caught up on How to be a Werewolf, an adorable webcomic by Shawn Lenore. The comic follows Malaya Walters, a werewolf bitten as a young child who doesn’t have any other werewolves in her life until she meets Elias Ross while working as a barista. Despite what that premise might lead you to believe, this isn’t a romance story—there is plenty of romance in it, typically between characters of the same gender (I won’t spoil who), but Lenore has made a point of stating that Malaya will remain unattached. Though I’m a sucker for a good romance (especially a good werewolf romance, especially when the werewolves are as endearing as these ones!), I love that we get to see a character who has always felt like an outsider build this found family up around her, even though she’s not estranged from her family. It’s a very sweet story with some occasionally dark themes, making it feel rooted in reality even with the magic and werewolves. You can really see Lenore’s development as a writer and artist develop over the years, and though it took me a long time to get to it (it’s been publishing around twice a week since 2015!) I’m so glad I took the time to do it.
— Shawn Lenore | How to be a Werewolf (@shawnlenore) August 28, 2019
Draven Katayama: I’ve been reading I Love Yoo by Quimchee, a wildly entertaining, unpredictable comic on Webtoon with a fantastic main character. Shin-ae is a high school student who is stressed out about paying for college because she and her dad don’t have a lot of money. When her friends Rika and Maya invite her to a lavish company party, her life begins to intersect with Yeong-gi, the mysterious rich boy, along with his even more mysterious brother and their friends. Despite the never-ending series of unfortunate and funny events that happen in Shin-ae’s life, we never feel like Shin-ae is a passive participant. Quimchee’s writing and art makes Shin-ae an energetic, strongly defined character who propels the story forward. I also really like Rika and Maya’s friendship with Shin-ae and their scenes of just hanging out at a burger joint feel relatable and relaxing to read.
LMLY by Edbe is another comic I can’t get enough of. Sofia and Leon are paired up to work on a group project in their high school class. Sofia doesn’t know Leon has crushed on her for a long time, but she asks him to fake date her so people will stop bugging her about her love life. Yes, this is a fake dating story! Of course, there is a tall, pretty, blonde girl named Monica who also has her eye on Leon and has no qualms about being mean to Sofia. One of the many things Edbe does well in LMLY is show text message conversations between characters, like when Leon comes clean to two of his friends that he and Sofia are only fake dating. The texts shown in the group chat are a cute, efficient way to show how characters’ relationships are evolving. Also, I deeply appreciate that the creator has said explicitly that Leon is Asian-European and Sofia is Afro-Latina. If you like cute stories and brightly colored, soothingly minimalistic background palettes, give LMLY a try.
The third comic I’m hooked on and recommending this month is Oh, My Intern! by Plastic Bottru, who is also the creator of another comic with an intriguing premise, De Novo. Oh, My Intern! follows Marya, an overworked intern at a big company, when one day she finds herself face to face with the CEO in the elevator. Later, she runs into him again at the farmer’s market and accidentally makes plans for a future meetup with him. What Marya doesn’t know is this CEO, Idris Regas, is a demon. He’s a demon who doesn’t care about humanity and just killed another demon for making the mistake of falling in a love with a human. We’re also introduced to Camael, leader of the angels. Oh, My Intern! blends slice of life comedy with supernatural mystery, and it’s a delightful combo.